"There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate's loot on Treasure Island." - Walt Disney

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

May Scribbler Box: Theme

In April I talked about my March Scribbler box and mentioned how it would be my last shipment. This sevice has been hit or miss for me. I've only enjoyed maybe half of the books, and some of the "writerly gifts" - and seldom together. In other words, there were only a couple of those months where I loved everything inside - the novel, the gifts, the talk subscribers are invited to, etc. Thus, with everything else going on in life, my husband and I have decided to cut back on unnecessary purchases. Hence, I just couldn't see continuing with a service I wasn't 100% thrilled with EVERY month.

Well, surprise to me, hubby gifted me a three month continuation of this service (minus the April 2020 box which was digital). So, here is a peek into the thirteenth box I have received from this service. 

As always, the first thing you see upon opening the box is a writing exercise/contest postcard. Each month provides a new challenge for writers to practice. The deadline for this month is June 13th. 

The "Curated Writerly Gifts" this month include a beautifully ornate journal in black with a gold embossed sun, moon, and stars. Inside the box was also a Bic 4 Color pen, a temporary tattoo that looks like the dictionary entry for the word "writ-er (n)", and a pack of Chewie Fruities - a candy I had never heard of before this.

As usual, this box also came with an inside look at the publishing process for this months author, and an exclusive invitation to chat with a publishing professional: bestselling author Jessica Brody who has published over seventeen novels for all ages including Save the Cat! Writes a Novel. There was also the collectible 'Writing Passport' with the author discussing this months theme which is THEMES.

This months new release is STORIES WE NEVER TOLD by Sonja Yoerg.

From the Amazon Charts and Washington Post bestselling author of True Places comes a suspenseful novel of love, secrets, and obsession.
Psychology professor Jackie Strelitz thinks she’s over Harlan Crispin, her ex-lover and colleague. Why should she care if Harlan springs a new “friend” on her? After all, Jackie has everything she ever wanted: a loving husband and a thriving career. Still, she can’t help but be curious about Harlan’s latest.
Nasira Amari is graceful, smart, and appallingly young. Worse, she’s the newest member of Jackie’s research team. For five years, Harlan enforced rules limiting his relationship with Jackie. With Nasira, he’s breaking every single one. Why her? 
Fixated by the couple, Jackie’s curiosity becomes obsession. But she soon learns that nothing is quite what it seems and that to her surprise—and peril—she may not be the only one who can’t let go.

If you'd like to see learn about previous boxes, click on the "Scribbler" link in the labels below.

Do you subscribe to any boxing services? What do you recommend? Have you heard of SCRIBBLER? Are you tempted to join?

Monday, May 18, 2020

May Through June Reading and Writing Opportunities

It's soon to be Memorial weekend in the USA. It's also that time of year for high school and college graduations. We are living in strange times, but it's also an opportunity to enjoy some extra time reading, or prepare a submission for a few anthology calls:

1) Southeast Missouri State University Press and the Warriors Arts Alliance have joined together once again to create the ninth volume in a series of anthologies about military experiences. I was fortunate enough to be included in the second volume with my interview of award winning author Tim O'Brien (The Things They Carried). For more information on supporting these great Americans or to learn more about the Proud to Be series: https://www.mohumanities.org/proud-to-be-anthology-series/ and http://www.semopress.com/events/proud-to-be-writing-by-american-warriors/

2) Interested in a graduation flash fiction? Read mine here, or try writing your own. You can also see my list of 5 Books for Graduates.
3) Chicken Soup for the Soul has a call out for five different anthologies right now. To learn more, check out: https://www.chickensoup.com/story-submissions/possible-book-topics
4) Challenge: Compose a letter of thanks to a soldier you do not know or donate books to the troops. For more ideas on how you can help: http://www.give2thetroops.org/

Have you ever written for veterans or graduates? Does this seem like something you might want to try?

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

IWSG Anthology Contests

The 2020 Insecure Writer’s Support Group Annual Anthology Contest is now open!
The genre is science fiction and the theme is "Dark Matter".

Word Count: 4500 - 6000.

See the site for full details, including deadlines, judges, prizes, entry, etc.

Previous years anthologies are still on sale, including the latest:

Voyagers: The Third Ghost

Journey into the past…

Will the third ghost be found before fires take more lives? Can everyone be warned before Pompeii is buried again? What happens if a blizzard traps a family in East Germany? Will the Firebird help Soviet sisters outwit evil during WWII? And sneaking off to see the first aeroplane – what could go wrong?

Ten authors explore the past, sending their young protagonists on harrowing adventures. Featuring the talents of Yvonne Ventresca, Katharina Gerlach, Roland Clarke, Sherry Ellis, Rebecca M. Douglass, Bish Denham, Charles Kowalski, Louise MacBeath Barbour, Beth Anderson Schuck, and L.T. Ward.

Juvenile Fiction - Historical / Action & Adventure / Fantasy & Magic
Print ISBN 9781939844792
eBook ISBN 9781939844736
Print and eBook:

For more information on this anthology, or the ones that came before it, you can visit the website - IWSG Anthologies 

Will you be submitting to the new contest?

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

IWSG: Rituals

It’s time for another group posting of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group! founded by Alex J. Cavanaugh. Time to release our fears to the world – or offer encouragement to those who are feeling neurotic. If you’d like to join us, click on the tab above and sign up. We post the first Wednesday of every month. Your words might be the encouragement someone needs. You can also join us on twitter using the hashtag #IWSG, or on the Facebook page.

Now, IWSG hosts have changed up the format in an effort to make it more fun and interactive.Every month, they will announce a question that members can answer in their IWSG Day post. These questions may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story. Include your answer to the question in your IWSG post or let it inspire your post if you are struggling with something to say. 

Don’t forget to visit others that day to see their answers. Want to join, or learn more? Visit our - Sign-up List.

May 6 question - Do you have any rituals that you use when you need help getting into the ZONE? Care to share? 

My Answer - I don't really have any rituals. The same thing doesn't always work for me. Sometimes the words freely and quickly - pure inspiration and emotion. Other times, it's like trying to pull myself out of quicksand. I just refuse to give up. People often ask me how I handle "writer's block". I simply say "Exercise, read a book, watch a good movie, listen to great music, travel – anything that gets you away from the work and relaxed. Then return with a fresh mind and renewed energy."

Today is also the announcement about the new IWSG anthology and contest. All information is available on the IWSG page listed above so be sure to head over and check it out!

How about you? Any particular rituals that help you get into the writing zone?

Saturday, May 2, 2020

Annual Faust Sonnet Contest

The "Faust Sonnet Contest" is now accepting submissions.

There is no entry fee, and the sonnets may be written in Shakespearean, Petrarchan, Spenserian, or non-traditional form. Only previously unpublished sonnets are eligible. 

Each entrant may submit one to three sonnets, maximum, with sonnets to be received no later than June 1, 2020. Cash prizes total $2,000. For more information, visit http://www.sonnetcontest.org/

Not sure how to write a sonnet? Try reviewing these guidelines, tips, and examples: http://examples.yourdictionary.com/sonnet-examples.html

Have you ever written a sonnet? Does this seem like something you might want to try?